Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Officer Columns, President's Message

Tino Gagliardi – AFM International President

Ground Zero, Subzero—Looking Back at 9/11

My travel to New York City to attend the October 3 opening of the AFM’s Pamphlet B negotiations had assumed an entirely different demeanor in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack.

Modern Union Busters Work from the Inside—and You Won’t Like Where They’ll Take You

Since the dawn of unions, there have been union busters. It’s an eternal dynamic between capital and labor. Generations ago, the Pinkertons lurked near factory gates with their bats

New Cable TV Contracts; Legal Action in Hollywood

After difficult negotiations and the eventual April 1 ratification of successor symphonic media and motion picture-TV film agreements, the Federation turned toward renewing open agreements in cable television and contract enforcement in Hollywood.

Webcasters Like Pandora Should Pay More for Our Music

On April 29, 2015, I testified before the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in Washington, DC, in an effort to boost payments to musicians from digital webcasters like Pandora. The CRB is a three-judge panel that sets rates on the statutory license that covers what webcasters pay for noninteractive distribution. Below is an excerpt from my testimony.

The Pandora – Naxos Deal: Fairness for Professional Musicians?

Below is an opinion article I authored in response to a recent deal between Naxos and Pandora, which apparently bypasses direct payment to members of performance rights royalties for digital radio through SoundExchange and via the AFM and SAG-AFTRA Fund

New Director, New Communications Plan, and News Briefs

As our new Communications Director, Rose will develop, implement, and manage a new Federation strategic communications plan through social media, press and public relations, and internal messaging

Successor Symphonic Media and Film Agreements Finalized

The Federation concluded negotiations for a successor Integrated Media Agreement (IMA) and also for successor Motion Picture and Television Film Agreements (Film Agreement) in late December 2014 and early January 2015, respectively.

New Pension Law

In December, Congress passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. This legislation is not currently relevant for the American Federation of Musicians & Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) because it applies only to severely underfunded plans. The AFM-EPF is not severely underfunded.

Final Rules for Musical Instrument Air Travel Released by USDOT

I am pleased to announce that on December 30, 2014 the United States Department of Transportation released the long awaited final administrative rule which fully implements section 403 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 – the law authorizing musical instruments as carry-on baggage onboard US air carriers.

Game Noise, Game Over; Update on Relocation; and IMA Negotiations

Last month, I promised to report on discussions I had in London with representatives of the British Musicians’ Union (BMU), prior to heading to Budapest for the first International Conference on Music Streaming.